The internet is awash with tips and tricks on the latest craze of how to look picture perfect without going near a surgical knife or a pot of Botox. Katie Farley unveils the tips and tricks that go into contouring make up
We live in a universe that is unquestionably obsessed with image. Whether we flick through pages of a glossy magazine or scroll through the news feeds on our social media accounts, we are forever faced with fabulous, flawless complexions via celebrities parading what we suppose is pure perfection.
A certain editing, image-manipulation programme may be the overriding digital tool to portray such perfection (hello Photoshop). Although it can transform the ordinary into the extra-ordinary, it also represents a fictitious portrayal of reality. This, along with the rise in demand for drastic intervention (i.e. surgery) has, until recently, been the celebrity world’s answer to facial perfection. However, the latest beauty innovation has emerged, and it arrives as a make-up technique all women can achieve without the need to undergo any radical measures – enter contouring make-up.
Contouring has emerged as the new facial make-up phenomenon; a craze that has gone supersonic in the beauty industry, favoured by many women who desire to achieve facial bone structure, shape and enhancement through the means of make-up. It may sound slightly intimidating, but it’s seriously simple and is guaranteed to give amazing results. The overall effect is not supposed to be noticeable, but instead convey a subtle definition that is created through artistry and illusion.
Effectively applying darker and lighter shadowing are the essential contouring beauty ingredients to manipulate the shape of your features, instantly enabling them to pop. This technique can make your eyes appear bigger, your nose more defined, your lips poutier, your cheekbones killer, your jawbone razor sharp, and can ultimately portray a slimmer face; all of which is totally achievable just by adopting certain techniques into your make-up regime.
To recreate a stunning, flawless look, follow these tips of the trade…
- Moisturise and prime your face. A generally great product to use when in preparation for any successful beauty regime is bareMinerals Purely Nourishing Moisturizer: Combination Skin, which is a lightweight, effective cream that defends against environmental stressors and balances out the skin beautifully.
- Paint a foundation base all over to create a radiant finish and even out skin tone. MAC Pro Longwear SPF10 Foundation is the one all beauty artists swear by, as it bottles a long-wear foundation that stays on up to 15 hours, is lightweight, creamy, goes on with ease, and provides sheer to medium coverage that is naturally flawless.
- To brighten under the eyes, apply a concealer that is two shades lighter than your skin tone. Other areas of focus are under the brow shape, the upper cheekbones, nose panel and cupid bow. For great results try Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Stick Trio.
- The trick when finding a colour to contour with is to opt for shades that imitate natural shadows, for instance, taupe or subtle grey/browns. Two great options include MAC Sculpting Powder Pro Palette that is tinted to enhance natural bone structure, or Urban Decay Naked Basic Palette featuring six superbly natural shades needed for contour colouring.
- When applying your contour the vital tool is a make-up brush that features a small tip or an angle to make the process easier. Nars No.21 Contour Brush is expertly angled for sculpting and highlighting the cheekbones, and is described as an artist essential to define and blend with controlled application.
- When focusing on cheek contours, carve and sculpt, beginning from the middle of the ear and gently sweep the shadows across the face. Blend with small circular movements to avoid hard lines.
- The nose panel and forehead are the next contour focuses. Paint the outer temples to create a light halo – this gives a flattering appearance when the forehead is exposed.
- Contour the outer under the jaw line towards the ear to define and shape the face using the same brush technique.
- Highlighting – choose either a cream or powder to highlight your higher planes. For a healthy glow, opt for a cream, as the matte vs shine creates a fabulous complementary look. On top of your light concealer, press on to the cheekbones, nose panel and Cupid’s bow using MAC Cream Colour Base in Pearl to showcase a beautiful subtle radiance.
- To further enhance your make-up, apply a light blush to the apples of your cheeks and cheekbones, which will effectively ignite all the shades together and create a natural flush. MAC Cream blush for cheeks is always a winner! Finally, to complete your flawless look, dust over some MAC Mineralize Pressed Powder to the t-zone.